Combating Violence and Abuse of People with Disabilities: A Call to Action

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9781598570014: Combating Violence and Abuse of People with Disabilities: A Call to Action

People with disabilities are four to ten times more likely to experience violence and abuse than people without disabilities.* This is the one book that empowers everyone—professionals, families, and self-advocates alike—to solve and prevent this widespread problem.

In clear and straightforward language, abuse prevention educator Nancy Fitzsimons calls readers to action and gives them the no-nonsense guidance they need to stop violence and abuse before they start. Readers will discover how to

  • help people with a wide range of disabilities learn concrete ways to arm themselves against violence and abuse
  • identify situations that might make a person vulnerable to violence or abuse
  • skillfully recognize the indicators of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, psychological abuse, and financial exploitation
  • take appropriate action if they suspect or know someone is being abused
  • tear down the personal, societal, and organizational barriers that perpetuate violence and abuse
  • make the most of supportive services and systems, including victim assistance programs, the criminal justice system, and advocacy services
  • conduct effective training sessions that empower and educate people with disabilities about prevention of violence and abuse (includes lessons learned from a model program, the Advocacy and Empowerment Project)

Throughout this practical guide, thought-provoking anecdotes, exercises, and "Ask Yourself" questions help readers relate key concepts to their own lives, examine their beliefs and assumptions about disability and abuse, and expand their knowledge of how to take action. An eye-opening sourcebook for professionals and a must-share with anyone who has a disability, this book is the key to helping people with disabilities fight violence and abuse—and take charge of their bodies and lives.

*Petersilia, J.R. (2001) Criminal Justice and Behavior

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About the Author:

Dick Sobsey, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus, Educational Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Sobsey has worked with children and adults with severe and multiple disabilities since 1968 as a nurse, teacher, and researcher. He taught courses on teaching students with severe disabilities and inclusive education at the University of Alberta from 1982 to 2005. He also served as Director of the J.P. Das Centre on Developmental and Learning Disabilities from 1994‐2008 and the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre from 2006 to 2011. He is the father of an adult son with severe and multiple disabilities due to MECP2 (methyl CpG binding protein 2) duplication syndrome.


"Touch[es] on an impressive number of angles surrounding the abuse of people with disabilities."

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